Depression coming back?

Posted , 4 users are following.


I'm new here and am hoping for some support/advice. Roughly 8 years ago I was diagnosed with mild clinical depression. It took me a while but I eventually managed to beat it and haven't needed to take AD's in 3 years.

However I've recently been starting to feel stressed and low again. My manager "B" is a nice person in her own right but we just don't seem able to connect and never have done. I feel that she is very dismissive of me and I do not feel able to or safe seeking support from her.

As an example, early last year a (clinical) member of staff had claimed that he had not completed a piece of work on time as I had not finished gathering research and typing it up according to the set deadline. During my supervision B told me off for this and made a point of advising that it was important to complete all tasks as requested. However, he had not provided me with a deadline when setting the task and when I queried this had actually said it was not a priority.

I had e-mail evidence of this to back this up and when I gave this e-mail to B she simply glanced at it, set it aside and said "oh right". Then she pretty much ignored the whole topic.

On another occasion after this when I was feeling pretty frustrated by basic procedures not being followed (it's my job to make sure they are and I get in trouble when they don't) I tried to tell B this but was just asked "where's your evidence". It was frustrating but I understood more than my word is needed. So I wrote down the three main issues, 10 dated incidents of each issue and 3-4 solutions for the problems (trying to be pro-active). B just glanced at it, smirked and then ignored it and nothing was resolved.

I was feeling pretty isolated and unsupported by this point and felt a real division between myself and the clinical staff members. They are nice people but can pretty much do whatever they want and if things go wrong then I'm the one who gets in trouble for it.

So I've dealt with it by being nice to everyone but keeping my feelings, stress and frustrations to myself. After all there is no point asking for help that clearly isn't forthcoming.

This has started having an effect on my mental health though - in January I started having insomnia due to the stress leading to me being tired and irritable. After it had gone on for a few weeks I spoke to all members of my team and advised them that I was not sleeping, that I was a bit grumpy, struggling to concentrate and closing the door to my office to try and get on. I told them it was nothing personal and hoped that they didn't take it that way. I also advised that I was seeking treatment for the insomnia. (My GP issued zopiclone for my sleep issue and a referral for CBT for the insomnia and stress. I wasn't wanting to go back on AD's immediately. I think CBT is better for me).

I was very concious that the stress and insomnia was liable to make me grumpy so I have made a concerted effort to be polite at all times - although I know that I am no longer the happy chatty smiley giggly person that I used to be when I first started.

Nearly everyone was very understanding. B just told me I should try having kids. I realise she was making a joke but her tone of voice and body language made me feel quite dismissed again. That I feel un-supported anyway has probably also had an effect on this.

Given that I am still suffering with insomnia I've acknowledged to myself that I need to discuss my feelings with B however this is difficult as I have not had supervision / a dedicated chance to speak to her in over 6 months. So I must admit I have attempted to force the issue. On Monday - after 4 days of not sleeping at all due to stress - I called in sick with exhaustion for 1 day knowing that I would have to have a return to work interview.

On my sick day I also obtained another appointment with my GP to explain my feelings and he issued with me with a once a day AD which also helps with sleep issues when taken at night. He also gave me a one week course of 2mg of Diazepam to take 3 times a day for the anxiety I was feeling.

I had my return to work interview on Friday (yesterday). The first thing B said to me was that she hoped I was feeling better because she was so frustrated with me, the fact I was no longer chatty and smiley like I used to be, that my door was always closed, that my attempts to be polite were snappy and that she was planning to go to HR and have me transferred / dismissed if I didn't improve.

She also told me that despite the referral my own GP has made for me she is referring to our own staff health department for assessment.

I managed to remain calm during this conversation but afterwards I went to the bathroom and despite having had 6mg of Diazepam that day I suffered a massive panic attack. All i could keep thinking was:-

I've raised my concerns repeatedly and been dismissed.

I've not had supervision (recorded or unrecorded) in 6 months.

I've advised all staff off my insomnia and attempts to seek treatment.

"B" has not once in 6 months or since January / February when I made staff aware I was ill tried to ask about how things are going for me or provide me with any support.

The talk we had on Friday was only because I was off sick so how can she be contacting HR to get me moved - isn't she, as my manager, supposed to try and support me?

Is the referral she making to cover her own back so she can show HR she has tried to help me and then get rid?

I managed to calm myself down and pull myself together to get through the next couple of hours but on the drive home I was just in tears. I feel worthless and had a second panic attack when I got home.

I tried to contact my GP but it was out of hours by this time so I called 111. I was hoping to speak with or get an appointment with a doctor or a nurse or anyone who could maybe help me somehow.

The nurse on the other end of the phone told me she wasn't able to book an appointment yet (it was too early?) and gave me lifestyle advice on sleeping, tell me I shouldn't be driving while taking diazepam (my GP didn't mention that), and said she didn't know what a doctor could do. I've felt too intimidated and stupid to try ringing again.

I've not had another panic attack since getting home last night but I haven't slept just turning things over and over in my mind. I feel stupid. Worthless. Unwanted. Unsupported.

I've been trying my best at work. I've tried to communicate that I'm ill. I've tried to be polite and efficient but it's obviously not good enough. But no-one has told me. Nobody wants to know. They've just been talking behind my back and trying to get rid of me.

I feel like there is something wrong with me on a personal level. There must be. Otherwise why would this be happening to me? Why is my best never good enough?

I'm sorry I know I've written a lot. It most likely doesn't even make sense. I just don't know what to do. I can't think. I want to run away. I want to hide. I don't want it all to be my fault but I feel like it is. Just everything is my fault.

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10 Replies

  • Posted

    Hi Katy , I just want u to know that I can relate to everything in your post and that just this morning I had a conversation with my husband about how having manic depression ( my diagnosis) makes my way of thinking take things very literally and if other people deviate from an expectation that I have of which , what why it should be done I struggle big time. If someone then takes offence at what I think is a rule, their job , my job etc my self esteem then plummets and my brain then starts into overdrive , get the gist ??
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    • Posted

      I think that maybe that is what happened to me yesterday - my brain went into overdrive and I panicked. Now I just can't seem to get out of this anxious low constantly teary mindset.
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  • Posted

    Hi Katy. You have obviously had a horrible time of it. i think 'B' in this case must stand for B.tch!  This is not your fault and you are not to blame. Your supervisor is useless and nasty. You have been bullied! and are now feeling and acting like a victim. Your only decision, as I see it, is whether to kick up a fuss (you have behaved correctly in your procedure, they have not) which could end up in a tribunal, or leave and find a better job. It is not acceptable to be treated this way. It may just be that it is not about you, but to do with internal office politics. Who knows (and who cares). The important thing is to look after yourself. You have been worn down by all this stress. To go up the tribunal road will produce more stress so I would advise just getting out of there and putting it all down to experience. It is not your fault, these things sometimes happen in life where you end up in a situation  working for ignorant small-minded people with dead hearts. You didn't pick her. Also, it seems that you have been unlucky in meeting a succession of unhelpful people. There are lots of people out there who do care and have compassion and are human beings. You need a job with someone who can appreciate your work, not denigrate it!
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    • Posted

      Thank you. I've been worrying and second guessing myself and feeling like I've done something wrong so much that to hear (read) someone tell me that it is not my fault just means so so much to me. So thank you. I think realistically my situation isn't going to be resolved so you are right I do need to leave. It's just so thin on the job market near me that I'm going to have to put up with it for a while longer. 

      I'm just concerned, scared and anxious about going back to work on Tuesday. I feel like everyone will know what's happened and I need to find a way for me to get through it just day by day until I can find something else.

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    • Posted

      Dear Katy The fact that you have decided to move on workwise in the future is very positive and may help you a little bit - I too went down the route of looking for a new job but when it came to the crunch I couldn't really afford to drop salary so soldiered on however on reflection for my sanity it was something I should really have contemplated even if it meant living on baked beans for the rest of my life!!!! In the meantime do keep in the loop with your HR department and workplace Health Dept - they will protect you against your boss who hopefully will rethink her bad practices and be a bit more cautious of spouting her unfeeling thoughts to you - I wish you the best of luck in the future - if its any consolation I do believe that there must be a special school somewhere that produces all the obnoxious bosses and people in this world!!! You should be proud that you can class yourself as a nice human being   x
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  • Posted

    Hello Katy

    I have been in your shoes and thankfully for me I am now retired and away from the workplace nightmare. 

    I would suggest that perhaps you contact your HR department and tell them exactly what you have written here and yes definitely go to your workplace Occupational Health Department - they WILL understand don't worry and you will then have them all in the loop regarding your health at present and the current situation with your manager - it is then their duty to ensure that  you are helped! I am sure your best is excellent - dont put yourself down

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    • Posted

      Thank you for responding. I can't believe how much positive, helpful support and kind words I've received here on this website just in a few hours compared to how little I've received at work.

      I'm too scared to go to my HR department - I can't help thinking what if they blame me? I will go to my Occupational Health Department though when the referral comes through. And I'm going to tell them everything that I've written here as well as take the copies of my supervision so that they can see how long its been between meetings. Thank you again.

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  • Posted

    Hi Katy I know exactly how you feel I was off for six months with stress after a nervous breakdown with work related stress my manager was so bad at her job she made everyone's  life a misery by constantly changing her mind about policies then changing them again and not telling anyone she had her favourite staff members and they could do in wrong, as people left she refused to replace anyone and expected me to work from 7am till 9pm unpaid I refused to continue in this way and approached her about the situation she sat back in her chair with her feet on the table  and said I was being petty and if I couldn't manage my job I should look for another she was impossible to work with constantly watching me and finding ways to make me feel inadequate and she was really good at that, I tried my best not to let her get to me but in the end my health was much more important. You need to accept that she isn't going to change and don't be intimidated by her try your best to get on with your job

    and don't explain to everyone what's going on with your health it's private and just do the best you can, you know you are good at your job even if she doesn't it won't matter how much you try to make sure everything is correctly done it's obviously not how she works, she can't have you transferee for not being smiley and chatty remember that try not to analyse her behaviour leave it at the workplace and don't give her a second thought once you have left work. I hope this helps a little take car of yourself


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    • Posted

      Hi, thank you for responding to my post. You're boss sounds worse than mine!

      I think I told people about the insomnia (not depression or stress) as I knew it was making me tired and lacking concentration and I was very conscious of letting people know if I seemed.unhappy it wasn't anything personal to them. I was trying to keep a peaceful workplace. Unfortunately this doesn't seem to have worked as im now "affecting other staffs morale" which is why boss wants to transfer me. 

      I'm alternately upset and annoyed by this as I feel I've been open and sought help, actively been polite, closed my door to aid concentration on my work / avoid upsetting people and yet it's not good enough cos I've not had a smile on my face 24/7.

      I'm also scared because what if this is enough to transfer me or worse fire me. 

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    • Posted

      Sorry just to add I can understand wanting something done if I'm affecting team morale - I'm just frustrated that at no point has support been offered to me to help resolve my illness and keep me fit for work. Which is technically what is supposed to happen (we do work for the nhs)
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